David McDonald dbmcdonald at comcast.net
Tue Nov 8 06:00:49 MST 2005

>From a Seattle organizer of the student walkout November 2.

-----Original Message-----
From: Carrie Hathorn [mailto:calni04 at yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 12:24 AM


On the anniversary of Bush’s “re-election,” over 1,000 students
walked out from about 50 Seattle-area schools and took to the
streets to protest the Iraq war and military recruiters in our
schools. Our walkout was part of a national student movement
that united us with young people across the county and the
world. The walkouts, sponsored by Youth Against War and Racism
(YAWR), also took place in Minneapolis MN (2000 students!),
Boston MA, Milwaukee WI, Madison WI, Mt. Vernon IA, Bellingham,
Olympia, Portland, Sacramento, Oakland, and Los Angeles.  Tacoma
YAWR also held a protest and a march of about 90 students at a
military recruiting station.

After walking out of school, wave after wave of students and
young people poured into Westlake center from across the Puget
Sound.  Students walked out from the following
colleges/universities: Seattle Central CC, Shoreline CC, Edmonds
CC, UW,Seattle U, Cornish, Antioch, Western Washington, and
Green River; the following high schools: Rainier Beach,
Franklin, Renton, Cleveland, Franklin, West Seattle, Chief
Sealth, Garfield, Ballard, Roosevelt, Ingraham, Nathan Hale,
Nova, Center, Tyee, Nathan Hale, Northwest, Bishop Blanchet,
Holy Names, Seattle Prep, Newport, Hazen, Mercer Island, Lake
Washington, Bainbridge Island, South Kitsap, Lynnwood,
Shorewood, Mountlake Terrace, Skyline, Redmond, Cascade, Monroe,
Woodinville, Bush, Woodway, and Alternative School #1; and the
following middle schools Brier Terrace, Whitman, and Einstein;
and others.

Much love and respect to all the students who risked punishment
for walking out of school to stand up for your beliefs.  It’s
because of you November 2nd was so amazing.   What a beautiful
day to see so many students and young people uniting together to
end war and racism and to boot recruiters out of our schools.

Carrie Hathorn, an MC and event organizer, kicked off the rally
with an enthusiastic round of school shout-outs -- a call and
response between Carrie shouting out schools and each school
roaring back.  Next the Blue Scholars took the stage and rocked
the mic with political hip hop grooves.   Then came the speakers
and performers: Luke Wigren from Renton HS YAWR and Socialist
Alternative, Rogelio Torres from Chief Sealth HS YAWR, Angelica
Amesquita from West Seattle HS YAWR, Justin Weber with spoken
word, Liz Goldstein and Teen Peace, Joanne Alcantara from the
Asian and Pacific Islander Women and Family Safety Center,
Reverend Dr. Leslie David Braxton from New Beginnings Christian
Fellowship Church, Heidi Wickersham a vet from UW YAWR, Nicholas
Baptiste from UW YAWR, and Ramy Khalil a key organizer for YAWR
and Socialist Alternative. While the microphone may have not
been loud enough, we certainly rocked the house chanting
“Recruiters out, recruiters out!” and “Move Bush get out the
way, get out the way Bush, get out the way” led by the Seattle
Young People’s Project who kicked off the march.

Our youthful energy was unstoppable as we marched from Westlake
to the Capitol Hill Arts Center (CHAC).  We filled nearly three
street blocks waving signs and chanting against military
recruiters in our schools and against Bush' war.  Once we
reached the CHAC some students spontaneously sat down in the
street.  Fortunately, no arrests were made during the march or
at our final destination.  However, two young people were
arrested as they left the march and headed back toward Seattle
Central Community College. According to reports we’ve received,
one bicyclist was told by police not to bike in the street but
was then arrested for biking on the sidewalk, and the other was
also arrested for no reason other than random police harassment.
 Fortunately, both were bailed out and are OK.  Meanwhile, at
the CHAC, we enjoyed workshops, spoken word and local bands
Pistol for a Paycheck and Sons of Hagar.

Our walkout got a ton of media coverage that will inspire others
to get involved in the antiwar movement and join Youth Against
War and Racism.  We made the front page of the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer on Nov. 3 and the front page of the local
section of the P-I on Nov. 2 as well as the front page of the
local section of the Seattle Times on Nov. 1 and 3.  The walkout
was also covered by KUOW (the local affiliate of National Public
Radio), KOMO TV, KOMO radio, Northwest News, Q13 Fox Radio, KIRO
radio, and the Bob Rivers show on 102.5 FM, and many others.


we’ll compile them and send them out!

The student walkouts were a huge step for our generation to take
back our power, our schools, and our country. Together we are
creating a powerful movement for social and political change.
But one day of action is not enough to get the U.S. military out
of our schools and out of Iraq.  So we must keep organizing, and
if we do, we can prevail.

Our walkout was built on the foundation of just a few YAWR
chapters and a handful of organizers. So imagine what we could
do with a network of 20 YAWR chapters in Seattle or across the
state!  Our movement would be strong enough to kick recruiters
out of our schools or even challenge the WASL graduation
requirement.  Our actions and successes will inspire students
and people across the world to join the movement and together we
can bring an end to this war for oil and empire. So let’s take
all our energy from the walkout, go back to our schools and
build Youth Against War and Racism clubs.

Students have the right to start YAWR clubs.  We cannot be
denied our right to freedom of speech (to set up a table in the
lunch room, show movies, hold meetings) and our right to freedom
of press (put up signs, pass out flyers and literature).

Three easy steps to start a YAWR club:

1.  Get the paperwork to start a club from your schools’ office.
2.  Find students interested in the club and ask them to sign
the paperwork and come to weekly educational/organizing meetings
at a consistent time and location.
3.  Ask a supportive teacher to be an advisor for your club.

Students also have the legal right to know when recruiters are
coming to your school.  Gather a few students and together
approach your school administration to make sure they honor your
right to have the recruiters’ schedule.  Then plan to set up a
YAWR table on those days.

*  Every time recruiters set up a table at your school, you have
the legal right to set up a YAWR table right next to theirs. Or
better yet, if every time the recruiters step foot into our
schools, protest them! Then the recruiters simply won’t want to
come back!
*  YAWR clubs can educate other students about the military and
the war. We can provide you with movies, information and guest
speakers.  Or simply download educational flyers from
www.yawr.org/downloads/downloads.htm and www.afsc.org/youthmil
and www.projectyano.org
*  YAWR can pressure School Board to ban military recruiters
from our school.
*  Download YAWR literature and petitions to use for your club
and at your table from www.yawr.org/downloads/downloads.htm .
You can use the petitions to collect signatures of students,
parents, teachers, and community members who don’t want military
recruiters in our schools.

Saturday, November 12th, 2:00 PM
Uptown Espresso
2504  4th Ave (corner of 4th and Wall St.)
Belltown in downtown Seattle. Most downtown buses get within
walking distance.

Come reflect and share your experiences of the walkout, rally
and event and returning back to school.  YAWR organizers want to
be in touch with you and need to know what is happening at every
school so we can coordinate.  Has there been any punishment of
students who walked out?  If you know of any repression, please
immediately contact us so we can look into organizing a
solidarity campaign to support students and fight punishment.
We also plan to discuss: where we go from here, our next steps,
how to build YAWR clubs, and any other topics you want. Please
send 1-3 students to represent your school.

We racked up a lot of debt on the fliers, stickers, renting the
CHAC, and many other expenses, and we still need resources to
continue this movement to make Seattle schools a military-free
zone. Please send in a donation, whether it is $5 or $500.
Donations can be made payable to Youth Against War and Racism
and mailed to P.O. Box 45343 Seattle, WA 98145.

We'd like to thank our event planers, stage managers and MC’s,
police liaisons, peacekeepers, speakers, workshop leaders, and
all those who mobilized for the walkout and donated time,
energy, money, and resources.

A special thanks to Liz, Jackie, Mark, Josh, Nina, Marlo, Ben,
Clint, Kimber, Cindy, Doug, Linda, Mike C., Bob, Jim, Paul,
Dane, Blue Scholars, Pistol for a Paycheck, Sons of Hagar, Youth
Speaks, Socialist Alternative, American Friends Service
Committee, Seattle Central Students Against War, Anakbayan,
Seattle Young People’s Project, Pepperspray Productions,
Independent Media Center, and most importantly all the students
who walked out.

We’d also like to thank all the endorsers:  Cindy Sheehan,
Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Peter Camejo, Michael Yates -
Associate Editor of Monthly Review, Harry Magdoff – Editor of
Monthly Review, M. Junaid Alam - Co-editor of Left Hook, Derek
Seidman - Co-editor of Left Hook, CODEPINK: Women for Peace,
American Friends Service Committee, Not In Our Name, Anakbayan,
ANSWER, Seattle Young People's Project, Military Out of Our
Schools! Washington Green Alliance, Oregon Green Alliance, Teen
Peace Project, Socialist Alternative, Palestine Solidarity
Committee, Independent Community Activist Network, Stand Up
Seattle! Save Our Schools, International Socialist Organization,
Majority Visibility Project, Just Don’t Go, Freedom Socialist
Party, Radical Women, Sound Non-Violent Opponents of War, Action
Northwest, National Network Opposed to the Militarism of Youth,
Opt-out Walk-out Coalition.

Peace, Power and Respect,
Carrie Hathorn, Ramy Khalil, Angelica Amesquita, and Jason from
Youth Against War and Racism

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
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